Supply chain visibility empowers you to reduce risk and improve customer service. That’s especially important in a period of widespread disruption, where the availability of real-time information can facilitate network planning, demand-driven adjustments and rapid communications to customers.
Shippers with good visibility into all aspects of their supply chain – including suppliers for multiple tiers – can build resilience and agility to lessen the impact of disruptions like global pandemic, natural disaster or political upheaval.
Data visibility, however, is just one piece of the puzzle. Your ability to act on that visibility is the key.
Drive Network Improvement with Data Visibility
Supply chain leaders around the globe are basing immediate action on real-time supply chain information – often captured through emerging supply chain technologies.
According to a recent Oxford Economics survey of 1,000 supply chain leaders, 49 percent – the top 12 percent of respondents – can capture real-time data insights and act on them immediately. Of those surveyed, 51 percent use Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics to capture information. Although more than 75 percent of respondents recognize the importance of visibility into sustainability practices of their organization and suppliers, few have visibility into either.
While those leaders may realize new efficiencies in tactical execution, truly developing a strategic plan for procuring services and serving customers, requires more than a customized transportation management system.
Visibility End in Mind: Plan, Adjust, Communicate
You can know where to find the load, the inventory or the vendor, but you need technology, tools and talent to execute three steps integral to monetizing that information into cost savings or enterprise growth:
- Supply chain visibility is vital to initial network design, as well as contingency planning that may be required during an era of disruption.
- Supported by a contingency plan or evidence-based analysis, visibility empowers tactical operators and executive leadership to adjust their strategy to mitigate risk or seize an opportunity.
- Close the loop by communicating those adjustments to customers and supply chain partners, and enhance experiences while controlling costs across your supply chain.
Ultimately, visibility into your end-to-end supply chain helps you understand how to pull different levers across your network and increase the return on investment of the whole supply chain.
Real-Time Data vs. Real-Time Access
There’s a big difference in real-time data and real-time access, the latter can be far more valuable because allowing data to solidify can increase accuracy. The most important real-time data is track and trace. Although from the standpoint of being actionable, there is likely limited actions that can be taken to impact it other than communication.
There’s a balancing act between the information you have and the amount of lag time required for the information to be validated and integrated across the reporting. The length of time the data needs to “soak” depends how you intend to use it. You want to be able to correct performance before it gets out of hand, but at the same time you don’t want to make decisions based on incomplete data.
For instance, bidding on an LTL shipment in the TMS, you don’t want your financial reporting to reflect cost until the carrier has invoiced with any additional accessorials applied. Real-time access to your latest data gives you the power to identify trends so you can validate or eliminate services for improved cost control.
Mastering Data Visibility
Deep, multi-layered visibility is a fundamental ingredient in elevating your supply chain to its optimal performance. Solutions for achieving that visibility are widely available, but none deliver greater supply chain mastery than Transportation Insight.
We build personalized solutions that give you visibility to rate savings, optimization opportunities and behavioral changes across the organization that reduce cost and can fund your initial start-up in the process. Executing in those areas, our team leverages transportation technology tools to improve the flow of data to drive ongoing process improvement that generates waste reduction, improves equipment utilization and protects profit margins.
Master visibility across your supply chain with our free resource "Mastering Your Supply Chain: Layers of Visibility." Download it today to access the information you need to improve service and achieve monetary savings.